Cussed at by neighbour

91 posts in this topic

Posted

Hello Dear TTers,

I'm just curious how people would react to a similar situation. As it happens often, I was late to work today as well, and was hurrying down the stairs. Although I never considered it, it might have been a wee bit loud when my footsteps echoed in the Treppenhaus. This morning, I was startled when this one neighbour opened her door just as I had passed her floor and cussed at me. I just caught the Verdammte part and not what followed. She then went on to appear at her window and continue hurling abuses at me as I left the building. Being in a hurry, I just ignored her and kept jogging to the Bus stop. I agree I could have tried to make an effort to take the stairs a little quieter, but honestly, it never occurred to me in the first place. It wasn't like it was 4am, rather closer to 7:30am. I have been living in this building only since last November and am at work the whole day on weekdays, don't play loud music or anything late into the night or do anything possibly unneighbourly. I would imagine, that either a stern but still civil request or even a passive aggressive note were in order before being cussed at from out the window for all the world to see.

Personally, I don't really want to talk to a person who seems this Asi because I don't believe that one can converse with them like reasonable grownups. I was actually thinking that if it came to anything, I would politely tell her to take it up with the Hausverwaltung and myself try to take the stairs more gently. Would any of you handle it any differently?

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Posted

Yuck! What a nasty start to the day! Poor you! Not much you can do, really. What I would do, is drop a note in her letterbox explaining that I hadn't realised that I was disturbing her, and apologising. Not making an issue of her totally unacceptable behaviour or anything. And then try really hard not to do it again (could you put your boots on at the bottom of the stairs?).

I would do this, not because I would think myself at all in the wrong, but because risking any escalation with someone obviously incredibly bad-tempered... well, that's not compatible with my desire for a quiet and pleasant life.

However, the other thing I would do is keep a copy of the note. So if She escalates anyway, I can prove that I did my best to be a reasonable person and thoughtful neighbour.

I'm sure others will tell you that this is not the way to go, that if you show weakness like this she'll pounce on it... you have to judge whether that's likely. My POV would be to try a different approach if she repeats her performance.

For what it is worth, though, I will say that feet going up and down a tiled stairwell which has no soft furnishings to absorb the noise... well, that can be very loud, and actually sound much louder to others than it does to the person making the noise. Our bedroom is the far side of the flat from the stairwell, but it isn't possible for anyone in heels to go up or down those stairs without waking me if I'm sleeping. And when the upstairs neighbour's grandchildren visit, I hear not a peep once they are in the flat, but massive amounts of noise when they are on the stairs. There's only 2 of them but it sounds like 20! Personally, I think this noise is just ordinary life and can't be helped. I'd never complain, even politely. But there it is.

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Posted

I'd probably completely ignore it as life's too short for crap like that.

That or call the Polizei.

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Posted

I like both Boba's and Sarabyrd's suggestions. Whatever you do, don't stoop to her level and make it a shouting match. Once that starts, it can only escalate and it gets difficult to decide who started it all.

Edit: I wrote that before seeing ian's post, and that was not directed at him.

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Posted

and myself try to take the stairs more gently.

That's a good start, but God knows not always easy (I'm prone to running late too and end up in a rush)

Anyway, it was 07:30, so you were outside of the "Ruhezeiten" and while I do unterstand her feeling somewhat annoyed at being "disturbed" so early in the morning, screaming at you out of the window is really not OK.

People living in apartment blocks should expect a certain amount of noise on the stairs early in the moning when people are going to work / children going to school and while it's not nice if you're trying to have a lie-in, it's a simple fact that people go up and down the stairs

I'd try to talk with her, apologise for the noise and ask her to kindly refrain from shouting out the window at you, it's humiliating and no-one should have to tolerate that.

I know you don't want to talk to her, but I find it's best to try and clear the air personally, if she is unreasonable, well at least you tried.

EDIT:

sorry Dessa, I gave you a "red" by mistake...

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Posted

You should plant a bat'leth in her skull.

Haha! I wish :D

Yuck! What a nasty start to the day! Poor you! Not much you can do, really. What I would do, is drop a note in her letterbox explaining that I hadn't realised that I was disturbing her, and apologising. Not making an issue of her totally unacceptable behaviour or anything. And then try really hard not to do it again (could you put your boots on at the bottom of the stairs?).

I would do this, not because I would think myself at all in the wrong, but because risking any escalation with someone obviously incredibly bad-tempered... well, that's not compatible with my desire for a quiet and pleasant life.

However, the other thing I would do is keep a copy of the note. So if She escalates anyway, I can prove that I did my best to be a reasonable person and thoughtful neighbour.

I'm sure others will tell you that this is not the way to go, that if you show weakness like this she'll pounce on it... you have to judge whether that's likely. My POV would be to try a different approach if she repeats her performance.

For what it is worth, though, I will say that feet going up and down a tiled stairwell which has no soft furnishings to absorb the noise... well, that can be very loud, and actually sound much louder to others than it does to the person making the noise. Our bedroom is the far side of the flat from the stairwell, but it isn't possible for anyone in heels to go up or down those stairs without waking me if I'm sleeping. And when the upstairs neighbour's grandchildren visit, I hear not a peep once they are in the flat, but massive amounts of noise when they are on the stairs. There's only 2 of them but it sounds like 20! Personally, I think this noise is just ordinary life and can't be helped. I'd never complain, even politely. But there it is.

Thanks for your reply :)

I reckon I could be a bit more mindful of how loud it gets but I think tiptoeing down and putting my boots on at the bottom of the stairwell would be a tad extreme. After all, it's not my fault that the pre-DDR looking building construction makes everything echo. Since it is generally quiet and a bit 'away' from the main street, such sounds are indeed more noticeable. If she does escalate it, I can always tell the Hausverwaltung lady that had she approached me like a normal person and told me to try to be quieter, I'd have apologized and obliged (I still will try to be quiet). I will also inform them that her first reaction was to shriek Verdammte wasauchimmer out her door and then out her window at me. Maybe even play the race card (Just kidding!! ).

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Posted

@generalmartok

Just noticing your name, hope you're not a real "General" with real General's boots - cos there's no way you're going to be able to take those stairs quietly then ;)

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Posted

are you sure she wasn't just startled "oh feck you scared the shit out of me" Du meine Güte! Hast du mich erschreckt!

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Posted

are you sure she wasn't just startled "oh shit you scared the shit out of me" Du meine Güte! Hast du mich erschreckt!

That doesn't sound like it to me, she screamed abuse at him out of the window after all

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Posted

No reply is the best reply. You don't want things to escalate, right?

I don't think you have anything to apologize for.

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Posted

Does she have a little pillow in the window sill to rest her elbows on? If so, watch out.

Yeah, the neighborhood watch. :ph34r: Also known as Blockwart.

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Posted

@generalmartok

Just noticing your name, hope you're not a real "General" with real General's boots - cos there's no way you're going to be able to take those stairs quietly then

I reckon too, but I'll try :D

are you sure she wasn't just startled "oh feck you scared the shit out of me" Du meine Güte! Hast du mich erschreckt!

Somehow I doubt that was it. Although I speak fluent enough German, I can't really make out all the Schimpfwörter always, and also there's the problem in understanding when they don't speak the standard Hochdeutsch in this part of the country. But I'm certain she prefixed it with Verdammte something..

When I leave the house at 7:30am, I always try to be especially quiet going down the stairs. The rest of the building is dead quiet that early in the morning, so pounding down the stairs like I'm trying to break them would just feel wrong. I'd expect someone to pop their head out and scream at me if I did that.

Yeah, I will try to be more mindful of not hurtling down the stairs, going forward. I will also probably just let it go for now. It's better to develop a thicker skin.

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Posted

I don't think you have anything to apologize for.

Well, he WAS a wee bit noisier than neccessary due to being in such a hurry (which he accepts)

An apology doesn't hurt anyone and may help to keep the peace - after all, he still has to live in the same building as this woman, and the last thing anyone needs is stress with the neighbours

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Posted

sod her.

building work can begin from 7am so why can she flip out at momentary noise at 7.30am?

just wave at her next time. why should you tiptoe downstairs in your socks?

she probably disturbed more neighbours than you with her outburst anyway.

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Posted

Next time just blow her a kiss, she's probably forgotten what one is.

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